Spending on salaries rises in ailing Swaziland

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MBABANE, Swaziland (AP) — Government officials in Swaziland say salary spending by the government will rise to $528 million, despite the country's weakened economy.

Finance Minister Majozi Sithole said Monday that would be roughly a $23 million increase year-over-year.

The majority of Swaziland's revenues come from customs fees, something economists warn remains an unstable funding source for the tiny nation.

Swaziland, a kingdom enveloped by South Africa, has been struggling with economic problems for more than a year.

Those economic problems have fueled calls for government reform in the southern African country, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. But the government's brutal response to protests, and reluctance among some tradition-minded Swazis to challenge King Mswati III, have smothered a larger pro-democracy movement

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